July 24, 2014

celebrating and hostessing...

By the time we were done celebrating, I had made four birthday cakes.  Not fancy, just delicious. And since he had to go gluten-free over a year ago, the delicious has not been taken for granted. But before there was dessert, there was dinner. {Which... in my house, is also not taken for granted. Sometimes you just have to have dessert first.}

We thought and planned for days. And when we finally decided, we shopped together for his Italian birthday feast. There would be ten around the table, but I still thought I could find a way to make it beautiful, fun and easy. I am always happy to be the worker bee at a party {even yours!} but after sharing a meal with friends a few months ago, I learned a new technique that had me sitting and enjoying the appetizer hour instead of running crazy.

Sangria, with and without, and a beautiful tray, heavy with delicious snacks. I actually sat and enjoyed our company while I hostessed, and it was really lovely.  The only time I was running in the kitchen was to cook up spaghetti and add the salad and bread to the table.  It might be our go-to dinner party from now on...

And then, there was dessert. His favorite: strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting. I had every confidence in the Cake Mix Doctor and was thrilled when I found a gluten-free version, but when I took the pans out of the oven and slivered off a taste, I wavered. And made a classic yellow cake with chocolate butter cream just in case. But what if they were both inedible? We had made a spumoni ice cream cake and we'd stretch that for all of dessert instead of serving it with the cake.  It turned out that all three desserts were a hit, and there was more than enough for everyone to try everything!

More important than dessert though?
Laughter. And there was a lot of it around the table.  That is what happens when you celebrate with your family, and friends-who-might-as-well-be-family. Laughter that spills into evening, and then some. Because before the night was over I had two men setting up a six person tent {his birthday gift!} in my living room. And then there was more laughter as they moved the furniture out of the way, and then pushed it back more, and then just a little more. We were also timing them, because it is an insta-tent that is supposed to go up in one minute. They may have finished almost three minutes over the time, but it was their first time, and we had finished up dessert with a little limoncello.

All in all, it was a wonderful night, and I am always so thankful to celebrate this man who has provided such a beautiful life.

Oh. Were you wondering about cake #4?  Boston Cream Pie cake on Sunday for his shift, as they all have July birthdays. I'm giving the Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-free three thumbs up!



Corinne Cunningham said...

It looks so yummy and festive! Well done :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Wow; after all these years you've figured out how to host and enjoy???!!! Yippeee!
The celebration looks fabulous; so glad Eric and YOU had fun.

Mindy said...

If we get dessert first I want to eat dinner at your house! Looks like a fun celebration.

Richella Parham said...

SO. MUCH. FUN. Just looking at the photos and reading your post makes me wish I could have been there!

Now I want to know--what's the technique you learned that allows you not to run around??

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